Towards Unity in Baptism: Exploring the Current State and Future Possibilities of Ecumenical Recognition

Tomi Karttunen(1*)

(1) Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, Finland
(*) Corresponding Author


This study discusses the current state of ecumenical discussions on the mutual recognition of baptism and the possibilities for progress. Baptism is considered the basic sacrament of unity in Christianity, yet mutual baptismal confession is still not a reality among all Christian Churches and communities. This research also tries to answer questions about the lack of faith in infant baptism and the differences in understanding of the sacrament, especially in the relationship between Orthodox and Protestants. The method used in this study is a systematic analysis of the most relevant ecumenical theological sources of baptism. Understanding the relationship between baptism and faith is the main focus of this study, including an understanding of the ontological and epistemological dimensions of faith and being a Christian from a theological perspective. The results of the analysis are also integrated into the framework of Christian life in general and ecclesiology. One of the important findings in this study is the seventh canon of the second ecumenical council in Constantinople in 381 which states that any baptism performed with water and in the name of the Trinity should be considered a valid Christian baptism. Although the recognition of baptism does not directly entail full ecclesiastical union or eucharistic intercommunion, it does provide hope and encouragement to work harder in promoting common Christian witness and ministry. This research is also relevant in resolving the dilemma between infant baptism and the baptism of believers. In conclusion, the study proposes possible paths to take this discussion forward, in the hope of achieving a wider mutual recognition of baptism among different Churches and Christian communities.


Baptism; ecumenism; recognition; sacraments; unity

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